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Author Topic: Drawing with 2 mice  (Read 11710 times)

Clive

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Drawing with 2 mice
« on: March 06, 2007, 07:11:15 PM »
My ambidextrous partner is interested in exploring the potential of this trait. She wants to know if it's possible to have two mice (pointing devices) operating simultaneously so that she can "draw" two images at once i.e. using both hands to create different images on the same screen in something like Adobe Illustrator.

Thanks,
Clive

mouser

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2007, 10:35:28 PM »
fascinating idea.. i'd love to hear if you get this work eventually.
she might be interested in trying a combo of mouse + pen drawing pad.

nudone

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2007, 01:44:08 AM »
i can see how you could perhaps create a program that understood how to operate using two mice but aren't you also going to have to somehow override what the operating system does. getting it to work in a specific program like illustrator sounds even more difficult (i won't say impossible).

i've seen experimental operating systems (on a tv show) that used a mouse and a track ball at the same time. these worked independently and the user of the machine was trained to use the specially devised programs - one of which was a painting program. that was about 10 years ago - obviously the project never went anywhere.

maybe it's a simple thing to have two cursors moving independently on screen in a windows o/s - if so i also hope you succeed.

tomos

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2007, 02:37:02 AM »
I got a new mouse there a while ago.

For some reason, for a while I used the mouse-lefthand, and a trackballthingy-righthand.

It was good fun, and made mouse work less strenuous.
They both worked together - in Freehand at any rate

Was a Logitech MX310 & a Logitech Trackman Marblewheel.

Dont know now why I stopped - think I needed the USB port  :)

tom

[Edit] :-[ didnt read thread properly - I was using 2 mice but had only one cursor  :-\
Tom
« Last Edit: March 07, 2007, 03:07:30 AM by tomos »

f0dder

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2007, 03:25:22 AM »
Hm, two mouse cursors... dunno if that's possible on windows. And even if you get the OS to support it, I can foresee a lot of applications becoming confused. Interesting idea, though.

I think the only time I've used two mice on a PC was the old DOS version of Settlers (or "serf city" if you got the german (european?)) version - but that had it's own mouse driver built in to handle this. Pretty nice way to do split-screen gaming, though.
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Edvard

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2007, 11:02:38 AM »
Quote
I can foresee a lot of applications becoming confused.
I don't know about that, as long as the OS passed a single mouse event to the app no matter which cursor did the action. But that WOULD limit you to one mouse action at a time. For example, you couldn't nab two corners of a window and stretch it (which I think is a fairly cool idea, btw).
I would be more worried about USERS being confused as to which mouse was moving which cursor.
But if it were possible, you could make dual-mouse aware applications, with corresponding functions.
Hmm... like gui buttons that would act like the current modifier keys. For example, shift-rightclick would be click and hold <some button> while performing action with other cursor; drawing applications that could make lines between two points held by their respective mouse cursors, things like that.
The possibilites could be overwhelming...

Ruffnekk

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2007, 11:11:47 AM »
I guess if you have enough buttons, you could even type a letter by using two mice and pressing different button combinations. That would be neat, but not as fast as typing I guess...
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RuffNekk

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nite_monkey

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2007, 01:58:22 PM »
That would be pretty cool, if you could put one pointer on one monitor, and then put another on the other monitor (dual view-dual mouse) that would be pretty cool.
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cthorpe

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2007, 03:15:27 PM »
« Last Edit: March 07, 2007, 03:18:41 PM by cthorpe »

Clive

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2007, 05:58:13 AM »
I can see that the idea has triggered a little peak of interest.  :up: Thanks, cthorpe, for the links. Those researchers are on the right track in terms of what my partner wanted to do, but really all she wanted to do was be creative and have some fun - I don't think she was going to make a career out of it.

JennyB

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2007, 08:31:07 AM »
Google "toolglass" for some some interesting work on two-handed interfaces doneby Bill Buton about ten years ago.

For a simple modern example see http://grouplab.cpsc...n=Toolkits.Toolglass  using a .Net toolkit

A quote from the same site about the difficulties of progamming two independent mouse cursors:

Quote
Windows offers only a single system mouse, and consequently draws only a single system cursor on the screen. When you plug in multiple mice, windows just combines their input to move the system cursor. Similarly, all widgets in windows react to input from the single mouse.

Because SDGToolkit provides multiple mice and cursors (without the knowledge of Windows), it directly violates the Windows GUI. This creates several issues ...

Setting SDG Mice coordinates.
In windows, mice coordinates are normally reported relative to a window. SDG mice work differently.
By default, coordinates are always relative to the top left corner of the screen. This is fine for a full screen application, but bad if your SDG application lives in a window.
You can tell the SDG Toolkit to deliver coordinates so they are relative to the insider top-left corner of a window (a Form). To do this, set the RelativeTo property in the SDGManager to a form.


What should we do with the system mouse?
The system mouse is still around when you use SDGToolkit. However, it does provide several strategies for dealing with it.

Parking the mouse. (Recommended).
The SDGManager has a property called Emulate System Mouse. When this is set to Park, the system mouse is moved to the location given in ParkSystemMouseLocation, made invisible, and left there. That is, it does not move no matter how you move any of the SDG mice. This means that clicks outside of the SDG window will be ignored. The downside is that standard non-SDG widgets will not work (including your window title bar options), nor will you be able to do any task switching through mouse selection. This is why you have to press Alt-F4 to close the window, or Alt-Tab to switch between applications.
 
Full screen applications.
Another way around this problem is to park the mouse, and make the application full screen. This at least removes the visual conflict of having an SDG application surrounded by a non-SDG environment.


Normal GUI widgets won't work at all if the System Mouse is parked. Yet you can have the System Mouse follow a specific SDG mouse...
Expect strange behaviours. Other people will expect their mouse to work like a system mouse, but it won't. Also, other people's mouse actions may interfere with your use of the system mouse.
If you click do click outside the SDG Window, several unpleasant things happen.
Your SDG application (and the other mice) will stop working....

In practice, its best not to use this mode unless you really know what you are doing or have a good reason for doing it.

Confused? It all comes from having a window system with an ingrained notion that there could ever be a single mouse pointer. All commercial systems work this way. how bizarre.
If you don't see how it can fail -
you haven't understood it properly.

inghamc

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2007, 11:43:06 PM »
Edward Hallowell has a short chapter of brain exercies for improving attention in his book Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder.  These exercises involve drawing various combinations of shapes simultaneously using both hands.  Having two mouse cursors would allow for grading and measuring improvement in these types of exercies...

gjehle

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2007, 05:25:40 AM »
well, the thing is, right now it wouldn't work with any operating system
just because of the whole way the mouse handling is programmed (many devices controlling the same cursor, aka, all are one)

it's the same problem with those nifty looking multi-touch displays of which there are videos all over the web

what most people don't see is, that this is the exact same problem
you wont see these used on your off-the-mill computer running whatever-operating-system that got ANY marketshare in the next say.. 5 to 10 years.
it's just not feasible to re-implement the whole concept of how to interact with an interface from ground up.

sad but true.

just give it 1 minute of thought
think of any program you're using right now, ANYTHING, that could be effectively used with 2 pointing devices (2 independent mice, multitouch).
might be just me, but i can't think of any ;-)

it's a nice problem to work on tho
i just don't see it happening anywhere outside academic institutions or companies able to afford such an investment (custom programs, custom hardware, for stuff that is already there for single-pointer devices)

app103

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2007, 08:57:23 AM »
just give it 1 minute of thought
think of any program you're using right now, ANYTHING, that could be effectively used with 2 pointing devices (2 independent mice, multitouch).
might be just me, but i can't think of any ;-)

Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, Bryce...just about any art program.

They could all benefit from being able to do something like this....so would anything that has any sort of drag & drop layout designing, such as web page builders.

f0dder

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2007, 06:34:04 AM »
Well, it wouldn't be too hard hacking in support for "fancy touchytouchy screens" in separate apps, but this would be without the device showing up a as a regular "pointing device" in Windows... that would take quite some redesign.

It would be nifty to be able to resize windows by "dragging two corners" at the same time and such :)
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tsaint

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2008, 05:52:14 AM »
Came across this software, free for educational/personal use, which allows multiple mice use, which looks interesting for class room use.
It doesn't allow the multiple mice to be actually in use at the same time ... whoever left clicked last has control.
I tried a 2 handed paint shop pro drawing session... it worked ...maybe an "ambidexter" might find it useful.

Quote
TeamPlayer 2.0 Multi User beta
TeamPlayer 2.0 is the first commercial solution for working together on the same computer. Simply connect extra mice and keyboards to your usb ports, install the software and multiple cursors will appear on your screen.

Everyone works on one screen
WunderWorks' TeamPlayer allows you to work with 2 or more people on the same Windows PC at the same time.

For Business, Education or Home use
Work through your spreadsheets together, involve your students or just have fun with your kids. TeamPlayer turns any Personal Computer into a Group Computer. It's generic, so just click on an application and take control. Share your ideas knowledge or expertise with the others in the group.

 Works with all standard input devices
Just hook up your mice and keyboards, add a digital whiteboard or tablets and start your group session.


http://www.wunderworks.com/public/home.aspx

tomos

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2008, 06:04:43 AM »
looks good tsaint

nice that it's free for personal use
199$ for commercial use though !!ouch!!
Tom

Edvard

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2008, 08:30:48 PM »
Well, it wouldn't be too hard hacking in support for "fancy touchytouchy screens" in separate apps, but this would be without the device showing up a as a regular "pointing device" in Windows... that would take quite some redesign.

It would be nifty to be able to resize windows by "dragging two corners" at the same time and such :)

Looks like Windows 7 has the capability of doing this with touchscreen now.
Dual mouse control for the same functionality shouldn't be too hard to hack in...

Clive

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Re: Drawing with 2 mice
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2008, 10:53:26 PM »
Thanks Tsaint. I thought this thread had gone cold months ago - just shows how wrong you can be.